Many network problems are preventable with a little routine care. Here are five quick and easy things you can do to keep your network running smoothly.
Know Your Network Layout
Get to know your network by taking a picture of your router and its connections. Even better, label those cables so you know what’s supposed to go where. Make a list of your Internet-connected devices, and whether they’re wired or wireless. Don’t forget smart home devices, too! Create an Internet provider “cheat sheet” in case of outages, including their support phone number, your account number, and the information on the label of your router.
Look at the Lights
Routers have status lights that give you a lot of information about your network. Take a picture of these lights when things are working, so you can compare them when things are not. Besides the power light, you’ll find lights that show which ports have an active connection. The faster these lights blink, the more data is being transmitted. There might also be lights showing the status of your wireless signal.
Update Your Router’s Firmware
Your router contains system software called firmware that sometimes needs updating. These updates improve your network performance and protect you from the latest security threats. Your router’s support site will give you instructions on updating firmware.
Keep Strangers Out
When people use your network without your knowledge, they can slow down your connection. They might also introduce computer viruses and malware, which will degrade your network performance even further. Always change the default administrator password for your router, and use the strongest security encryption for your WiFi connection. Instead of giving out your main wireless password, use the guest network feature on your router to allow temporary access.
Turn Things Off
It’s not always necessary to keep every single Internet-enabled device connected at once. Some might not even need to be connected at all! Turn off Internet access on devices you don’t use frequently. You can always turn them back on when you need them.
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